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ハロウィン Halloween
Trick or treat!

Halloween is one celebration I had never had the chance to be a part of, so this year we were all for following the band wagon as much as possible and enjoying what it had to offer.
Firstly, Jack O lantern carving: our lack of planning meant we couldn't do it with Kanata but having craft time with Taishi is not an everyday thing so it was great fun. We will definitely do this again, this time with Kanata.

Adorned with thick brows for originality, I think this jack-O-lantern turned out scary - I'm quite proud of it!

The following day we placed our carved pumpkin by our front door. 
Kanata is all ready for candy in his penguin "Pinga" costume!

ハロウィン当日は火を入れてtrick o treaterたちを歓迎します。こりすもコスチュームでお出迎えです。
Halloween night is here and the lantern is lit. "Happy halloween trick o treaters!" calls our resident penguin ; ) 

お次はtrick or treating。本来は夜キャンディーを求めて家々を回るんだけど今年は昼間に街やモールで開催しているお子様バージョンパレードだけにしました。金曜日と土曜日の午後はダウンタウンとモールのイベントに出かけてせっせとキャンディ集め☆土曜日の朝はプリのクラスメイトのご両親主催のハロウィンパーティーにも行ったので、結局ふたを開けてみたらハロウィン一色の忙しい週末となりました。
Next is trick or treating. This year I opted for the kid friendly options - downtown treat parade on Friday and shopping mall event on Saturday. We went to a Halloween party kindly hosted by one of the parents from Kanata's preschool, too, so our Halloween weekend actually ended up being quite busy and intense. 

I get candy, plus I get to play on a forklift - perfect!

Behold the witch!... Um, after I'm done looking for those nappies...

With candy and costumes, Halloween is definitely an event I can get used to. Already looking forward to next year : )

| 11:43 | イベント / events | comments(0) | - |
さらにお誕生日 Yet another happy birthday

Another birthday cake... for Taishi! Kanata's and Taishi's birthdays are only about ten days apart.
I seeked help from the mighty cake mix to make this cake, not only because it's easy but mainly because I wanted to try what American cake mixes tasted like. I also tried icing - yes, that throat-scorchingly sweet dollops of sugar! (Sorry guys, but I've never been too keen on icing!). So here it is. Plain sponge with coconut pecan icing and blackberries. 
I did enjoy making this cake and it was immensely easy to decorate compared to the whipped cream I usually use... But I have to say, it was way way way too sweet for me! the taste was nice but just too much of it. 
As fun as it was to experiment with icing and cake mixes, I think I'll have to bake from scratch and pray the cake will fluff up nicely next year.

| 14:02 | イベント / events | comments(0) | - |
お誕生日 happy birthday

ケーキは、ヨーグルトのタルトにラズベリーとマスカットを乗っけたもの。小さくてもホールで食べる方がこりすは喜ぶかなと思って小さいタルトをたくさん作り、買ったばかりのカントリー風3段トレーに乗っけました。おー、予想以上にかわいい!ちなみに一番上は、ライスケーキに刺したHAPPY BIRTHDAYの文字キャンドル。分かりにくいけど。

We celebrated Kanata's birthday this Wednesday - he's two now!
as it was only a month since we moved here we couldn't invite anyone over but we had a nice and cosy family celebration. Special thanks to grandmas and pas for the pressies(toy trains), he absolutely loves them!
For the birthday cake I made lots of yoghurt and fruit tart and placed on a tiered plate that I had bought a couple of weeks ago - I had always wanted a tray/plate like this, and I was really pleased that I got it because look! Don't you think the cakes look more gorgeous and party-like? OH btw the top tray says "HAPPY BIRTHDAY"; )
finally, I have a message for our lovely son - Kanata, this year is going to be filled with adventures and challenges - learning English, making new friends, growing out of the baby stage... And mum and dad want to say that we will always be by your side. Happy Birthday and may your year be filled with tons of fun and happy faces : )
| 00:18 | イベント / events | comments(1) | - |
Hello Michigan!
 (See Japanese entry below for piccies!)

It’s been three days since I arrived in Detroit Metro Airport feeling rather like a zombie. Taishi’s gone to work so today is my first slow day. Yawn…


We had a taxi pick us up in front of our house at 9am – one of the many priority services available for businessmen and their families being assigned overseas.

There was one traumatic moment when Kanata broke into a fit of cries and complaints that he could not walk about while having to wait three hours in the plane due to delayed connection flights and an emergency engine maintenance. However other than that Kanata behaved like an angel, playing around with a great smile on his face and sleeping well while airborne. The priority service helped a lot here, too. We had a concierge to guide us around the airport both in Japan and the US, enabling us to use short cuts for passport controls and the VIP lounge.

So overall I have to say the travelling was, against what I thought it would be, quite comfortable!


Jet lag.

Who can get away without one?! I still feel dull and hazy during the day and Taishi told me it took him about a week to overcome it, so I’m not going to complain just yet. Especially with Kanata to take care of, I can see myself taking a lot longer than that. The first night was a tough one where Kanata got up at half one and played around vigorously for three hours! I mustn’t get my hopes up, but last night he slept well from past 10pm to 7 in the morning, so I think I can say things aren’t as bad as it could get.



Countryside, quiet, car culture like you might see in a geography textbook! But really, I’m really glad I chose Ann Arbor. It’s a kind of place we could only have chosen at this timing (if Kanata was of school-age Ann Arbor would have been inconvenient), and I can see myself enjoying “life in America” more than if we decided to move to a bigger town or city. In my point of view our new house is very American, which I will introduce a little next week when we finally move in.


This week, I must get my social security no. and take Taishi’s driving lesson before I start driving on my own. Then I will really be a citizen of the Michigan!


| 00:04 | イベント / events | comments(0) | - |

渡米記念写真 疲れてても嬉しい アメリカ初ドライブ





今週はsocial security noと旦那くんの運転教習があります。いよいよ住人になるぞー。

| 23:25 | イベント / events | comments(5) | - |
もうすぐ渡米 countdown to America


Why on earth have I kept my last two entries saved in my inbox??
 So today I'd like to share some old thoughts together with the one I'm writing now.
Hope you enjoy catching up as much as I did...

It's almost 2 months since we said a temporary goodbye to Taishi and moved to mums with Kanata.
Having sent most of our belongings to the US last weekend, right now I'm busy running around for last minute shopping and outings with friends.
Living in the US means a lot to me as I had always wanted to live abroad as a parent, but I do have some worries, too, like choosing Kanata's preschool and getting along with neighbours and Taishi's colleagues. But I have to say that the degree of anticipation is far more greater than anxiety!
Spending each day actively will be my theme whilst I'm there - I can see three years flying past in a blink of an eye and I really don't want to regret not doing anything!

| 23:07 | イベント / events | comments(2) | - |
夢叶う dream come true
毎回のように書いてるけど暑くて暑くてたまらない今年の夏。でもそんな中私の人生の大イベントがひとつ。「Kids Film Festival」という子供向け映画やアニメーション作品を扱う小さな映画祭が8月初旬青山円形劇場で開催されてて、そこに大好きな声優の田中真弓さんに会いに行ったの!!!因みにぽかんとしている人のために補足しますと田中真弓さんは「天空の城ラピュタ」のパズー役、「ワンピース」のルフィー役などなどでおなじみの超グレイト(笑)な声優さんです♪そもそもこの映画祭をどうして知ったかというと妹がスタッフとして参加しているから。私はもともとアニメが好きだったから面白そうだなーと思っていたら妹からゲストに田中さんがくると聞いて・・・こりゃもう行くっきゃないでしょ!!とママも誘って久々の東京へ繰り出したのでした。
映画祭のほかの上映作品もみんな良かったし、妹のおかげで子供映画の面白さを実感し、何よりも思わぬdream come true体験をさせてもらっちゃいました☆ありがとー!

I know I've been saying this everytime but I cannot say enough how lethally hot it is this summer. But amidst the maddening heat there is one great experience I'd like to share with you. There was an event called the "Kids Film Festival" early this month at the Aoyama (arena) Theatre, and I went there to meet my teenage superstar Mayumi Tanaka! For those of you who have no idea who I'm talking about, Mayumi Tanaka is a voice actress who has played Pazu in Hayao Miyazaki's film "Laputa - Castle in the sky" and so many other characters that Japanese boys and girls would recognise in an instant even now. I first knew about this film festival from my sister, who was working as a member of staff. I love anime, so was already interested by the sound of kids' film and cartoon, but my will to actually go to the festival became unchangable when I heard that Ms. Tanaka was invited as a guest speaker.
I went to the festival with mum, and we were enjoying the event to the maximum already when Ms. Tanaka appeared on stage smiling and joking that she was "just a tiny old woman" and "this is the moment of harsh reality!" . Yes, Mayumi Tanaka was small and she was not young. But to me, she was emitting so much energy and it was simply mesmerising seeing her actually record her voice over a film, live! Her face was that of a true professional and I was too busy making sure I don't blink and miss anything she does or says, the film was over in what felt like a mere second or so.
The festival played other films and cartoons other than the one with Mayumi Tanaka and they were all wonderful. Thanks to my sister this day was not only a day of enlightment towards kids films, but a great dream come true experience. Thanks a bunch!!
| 16:27 | イベント / events | comments(2) | - |
バースデー・ディナー Birthday Dinner


We celebrated Taishi's birthday in the weekend, and I prepared a simple Italian course menu:
Salmon Salad
Sauce Nero Risotto
Herb Roasted Chicken and Vegetables
Yoghurt cake
(home made table rolls and Italian red wine )
I served the dishes like a course meal, but as the cake was in the fridge, the risotto in the pan and the roast in the oven, all the dishes were as warm or cool as they should be - excellent! I've uploaded the pic of the risotto and cake... (please ignore the fact that the cake looks rahter pasty and dim... I was too satisfied with the food and drink to take a decent picture!)
I made the risotto using a ready made sauce for pasta, which to my surprise, had actual bits if squid in it. I also added half a tomato and onion both chopped, but the taste was much better than I imagined. I mean, look at how black the rice are! As for the dingy looking cake... well it was actually very good! The top yoghurt layer is lemony and light but the bottom layer made with crushed oreo gives extra richness. It's great on its own, but will also be wonderful with jam.
Happy Birthday Taishi!
| 15:12 | イベント / events | comments(0) | trackbacks(0) |
ダブルベリーショートケーキ double berry cake

Last weekend we got together for a 60th birthday celebration for Taishi's dad, and I baked a cake specially for this event - best present as a daughter-in-law, tee hee! After a total of 3 tests, I finally achieved this golden and fluffy sponge. Yes this should do it!
Not everything went right, as it never does before an event like this. The whipped cream wept heavily as I forgot to keep the it in the fridge, and only got to use the minimum amount to sandwich between and spread over the sponge (>_<)!!But fortunately everyone seemed to enjoy my cake, and they also liked the refreshing blueberries and raspberries I used instead of the strawberries which were out of season. Such a relief!!
I already have a next task; to bake a birthday cake for Taishi! I've already decided what to bake and will upload the pic next week(^o^)
| 09:13 | イベント / events | comments(0) | trackbacks(0) |
念願の再開! Dream-like reunion!


Last week and the week before was really busy travelling between Tokyo and Shizuoka because of a dream-like reunion with Hiroko and Junko!
I met Hiroko and Junko while working in the same company 6 years ago. We've all left that company now, leading our own lives -studying abroad, working abroad, getting married- but our friendship has never stopped growing. Although I had seen Hiroko on occasions, Junko was in the US so when we heard she was coming back temporarily, there was only one thing to do! Junko was in Tokyo for just over a week and we were together for like 3 days in total. We met twice in Shibuya and once in Yokohama, and it was a complete girls festival; shop and talk and drink till we drop! Just sharing the same atmosphere again was absolutely surreal and fantastic! Oh, and it was great speaking to Junko's fiance on the phone, too.
Anyhow, thanks for the great time girls, I feel like my batterry's been recharged with all the laughter and serious talks.
Many thanks for the wedding present Junko, and promise I'll go visit you in LA!
| 15:09 | イベント / events | comments(0) | trackbacks(0) |
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